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Altana Festival in Osaka: Super Ultimate Complete Guide

By: Falkner posted at Nov 06, 2007 11:00 pm

Category: Final Fantasy XI, Game: Final Fantasy XI, 1563 Views

Tags: Altana   Festival   Osaka   Guide  

Source: http://www.watch.impress.co.jp/game/docs/...ff11off.htm
(some pictures from: http://www.famitsu.com/game/news/...7_1124.html)

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10;mid=11941882311705553;num=75;page=1
Translated by: Elmer the Pointy


On November 3rd, Square Enix held the “Altana Festival in Osaka” in Umeda, at the Umeda Fine Arts Theater in support of their MMORPG Final Fantasy XI, which currently serves players in Japan, North America, and Europe.

With an attendance limit of 1,800, this was a hot ticket, including a mini-concert and the revelation of highly anticipated information on the new expansion, Wings of the Goddess, set to go on sale November 22nd. Final Fantasy XI Producer Tanaka Hiromichi led an array of development team members in divulging news across a two-part event, and we’ve outlined everything we could below. So let’s get to the good stuff.

The latest new job with Magic-boosting abilities: Scholar! Then, Dancer and Campaign Info

At beginning and end of the festival, there were opportunities for the fans of Final Fantasy XI to hear the latest scoop on Wings of the Goddess.

The first presentation revealed “Campaign,” a new battle system mixing elements of Conquest and Besieged. Also brought to light were new jobs Dancer and Scholar.

http://www.cactusleaftl.com/ffxipics/o...7/of07c.jpg
^Scholar: The second job released with Wings of the Goddess. Using ancient magical tomes of battle tactics, known as “Grimoire,” they can enhance White or Black magic as well as wield some unique spells of their own.

Campaign

First, regarding Campaign, it will be a large-scale system that sets the stage for the battles of Vana’diel’s past. Players from San’dOria’s Royal Army, Bastok’s Republican Forces, or Windurst’s Federation, will all fight together under the Allied Forces of Altana against the Beastman Confederate.

 

 ^The Wings of the Goddess Region Map. Here you will not use Conquest, but wage battle under the new Campaign system.

It plays out similar to Conquest, with individual battles taking elements from Besieged in Al Zahbi. Mixing these aspects together, Square Enix has created a whole new system for this expansion.

The flow of Campaign basically follow that of Conquest, in that it works on weekly cycles. The division of power for each area changes depending on the outcome of skirmishes between the Allied Forces of Altana and the Beastman Confederate. After a week’s time, each area has its total calculated and the results determine who holds power over which region for the following week. The overall winners or losers will they attain an advantage (or disadvantage) in the coming battles. One example is that those with greater forces will be able to obtain higher rank Campaign Missions. Also, Players will receive “Alliance Points” and experience points based on their performance.

 

^Players reach the past in Wings of the Goddess by travelling through a “Cavernous Maw.” They are located everywhere in Vana’diel, and after fulfilling certain conditions, they can be used free of charge.

Campaign is broken up into four separate events. First, is Campaign Battle. This is when a target area randomly erupts into conflict. Previous screenshots have depicted this event, (such as the Orcs battling in Ronfuare). Basically, you participate in a fight similar to Garrison, but are restricted to a certain area of space like in Besieged.

As for the system governing all of this, instead of Signet or Sanction, there will be a completely new magic cast upon you, which eliminates experience loss upon death. Like Besieged, you can participate as you please from start to finish. Your activity in battle will determine what rewards you receive. It’s perfect for casual users and beginners to jump in and play.

The second type of event is Campaign Missions. These are meant to earn one an advantage in Campaign. If Campaign Battles are like Besieged, then Campaign Missions are more like Assault.

These missions are available based on conditions met through improving rank, war situation, military policy, domestic policy, division of power for areas, and Scout. These missions can also scale to meet the needs of a wider variety of players than Assault, which was generally limited to 3 or more level 50+ players. There are Campaign Missions you can solo, complete with low level players, set to short periods of time, or enjoy without battles. There is much more variation incorporated into the missions this time around.

The system is similar to Assault in that you use tickets to undertake a challenge, but the big difference is that only the Leader’s ticket is used up. Therefore, a party of six players could tackle the same mission six times in a row if they wanted. The rewards boost your “fame” in some way, but the results are unclear. (different than present-day fame)

The third type of event within Campaign is called Scout. Just like the title, you will be seeking out “scout” NPCs unaffiliated with the Allied Forces of Altana in Field Areas and Dungeons. Upon meeting them, you will attempt to convince them to join the Alliance, which can produce beneficial effects for your country. Furthermore, you may just run into some unexpected characters and get a look into their past. It sounds like this particular event will make great use of NPCs.

The fourth event within Campaign is Survey. This system makes use of the opinions of adventurers to determine national policies and military action. Each week, adventurers are tallied, and the results determine the course of action their nation will take the following week. Campaign Battles and Campaign Missions will become available based on the findings from Survey. For instance, questions like, “What areas should we invade?” or “What battle strategies should we employ?” or “What techniques should we develop?” will all have an effect on national policy. It lets the players control the course of the game, and should prove to be a great addition to Campaign.

 Before the official implementation of Campaign, there is a “rehearsal” planned in the form of an event called, “Crystal War Revisited.” Beginning of November 8th, players will have a chance to compete for a prize of red sunglasses. The victorious nation will also receive a special vendor selling goods exclusive to their homeland. In addition, the World with the greatest results will get a special Tele-point that allows travel between the three nations, not to mention the possibility of “HQ sunglasses.” Adventurers everywhere should be ready to enthusiastically take on this challenge.

The World of Wings of the Goddess

 

 

 

Picture 1 is present-day Bastok, while picture 2 depicts its past. During the Talk Section, we were able to see San’dOria and Windurst as well, but nothing of their appearance during wartime. Basic amenities like the Auction House or shops will not be available, but you can still get a Rental House and receive deliveries. Despite the overwhelming negative imagery of looming conflict, we were treated to a budding Lycopodium, a member of the Mandragora family, in full bloom.

Dancer

^During the Talk Section, they displayed a battle scene with Dancer. In the movie, the Dancer used “Drain Samba” to absorb HP as it fought the enemy.

Finally, all the guys who were (eagerly?) awaiting, were shown male Artifact Armor for Dancer. It was also revealed that each sex and race will receive their own sets of specific dancing motions.

The AF has the same basic design for males and females, with red and black colors with tights. On a female, the costume looks quite natural, but for males it’s a little hard to swallow. Anyway, there are four different motions to dancing, and each race has their own unique styles and finishing poses.

The Job has a variety of abilities and functions. “Dance” lets you heal party members and endow them with a number of beneficial effects. “Step” is used to enfeeble enemies, and adds an Additional Effect to the Dancer used in conjunction with “Flourish.” All these actions require the consumption of TP to activate. In other words, a Dancer must fight on the front lines, accumulating TP from the enemy.

Within “Dance” there are various moves like Samba, Waltz, and Jig. In the demonstration, we saw Drain Samba absorb HP and Haste Samba grant the effect of Haste. “Step” and “Flourish” are used together as a set. When using “Step,” the Dancer receives the bonus status of “Finishing Move,” and can utilize that condition to perform “Flourish.” All this new terminology is a little tough to take in, but the point is that “Dance” buffs members, “Step” enfeebles enemies, and “Step” is capped with a “Flourish,” allowing a Dancer to adapt their strategies along with the flow of battle.

The effects of “Flourish” range from a Provoke effect, Weapon Skill strengthener, TP conversion, and Skillchain openers. With this variety of effects, Dancer looks to have a great many benefits to front-line attackers.

Dancer Artifact Armor


Dancer Artifact Armor for Hume Males has finally made its appearance. From the looks of it, you’ll need to summon more courage than it took to wear Puppetmaster AF. Their dancing motions are slightly different than that of females.

 

Scholar

^Scholar’s demonstration movie treated us to the effect of White and Black Grimoire, as well as its own unique skills. With Black Grimoire active, the Scholar used “Chapter: Elemental Presence” 精霊光来の章, which allows single target Enfeebling and Dark magic spells to be cast as AoE.

Support happy players have been eagerly awaiting a job like Scholar, a new back-line job that functions like Summoner. Throughout the Crystal War, these tacticians utilized great tomes, known as Grimoire, to guide their military strategies. They are experts at wielding both White and Black magic.

The foundation of a Scholar is comprised of the “White Grimoire” and “Black Grimoire,” two abilities that are used to enhance White Magic and Black Magic respectively. There is no time limit to these abilities, so a player can freely switch between White Mage mode and Black Magic mode as the battle progresses. By the way, Scholar’s mainly use Staves and Clubs, and the book is simply an effect generated through use of their abilities. They cannot attack with books as Scholars did in Final Fantasy III.

Upon using “White Grimoire,” White Magic casting time is shortened, MP cost is lowered, and the player’s Healing/Divine/Enhancing magic skills are all raised. Also, there is a limit on what magic can be used while the White Grimoire is in effect. The Black Grimoire is the Black Magic version of this. As a penalty, the line of magic opposite to the Grimoire receives an increase in MP cost and lengthened casting times. While a Grimoire is active, a Scholar gains access to a number of unique abilities, such as magic which can alter the designated weather for a target party member and a powerful DoT spell. The weather magic allows a player to ignore the current weather for all intents and purposes. Moreover, it allows the use of equipment that has special latent effects under certain weather conditions.

Now, when the Grimoire effect was unleashed, a wave of awe washed over the entire conference hall. Under the White Grimoire, Stoneskin completed casting at only 40% of the casting gauge. Under the Black Grimoire, Gravity became Graviga (an AoE version of Gravity). The possibilities immediately captivated the audience. With White Grimoire or Black Grimoire as a support job, there is an unknown number of benefits one can find for key spells like Bind, Haste, Raise, Stun, or Ancient Magic. No doubt, Scholar is an amazing force to join the line of support jobs.

Scholar Artifact Armor

  

Like Dancer, Scholar AF really captures the image of the job, especially the hat, skirt, and knee socks. The mortarboard and eyeglasses come as a single piece of equipment. With females getting a rarely seen skirt in FFXI, this will probably become a popular job to be.

New Goods for Sale and the Japanese Offline Event

As the first Offline Event for Final Fantasy XI, The Altana Festival in Osaka received an enormous response. Tickets were sold out the day they went on sale, and subsequently could only be found on internet auction sites at ten times the price.

^The Umeda Fine Arts Building

The program consisted of two Talk Sections, a special Battlefield event, and a Star Onions mini-concert. Final Fantasy XI original products were on sale in the lobby, and immediately there was an insanely long line to purchase them.

^This long line was assembled in front of the Shop Corner on the 1st floor. It snaked all the way around and up the stairs to floor three.

The most popular goods were the special rings for San d’Oria, Bastok, and Windurst. By the time the curtain went up, they were completely sold out, but they expressed the intent to sell them again in the future. That’s probably a good decision.

As a souvenir, guests received a serial code used to take part in one of four special battle events, as well as an actual Halloween-related Pumpkin Head to wear.

Shop Corner


The shop turned out to be amazingly popular. The three Silver Rings were bought up especially quickly, most notably the Windurst version. At 11,000 yen ($95.87), they certainly were not cheap, but there were still some who bought all three as a set.

World Seal

World Seals were distributed at the entrance to the festival. These allowed attendees to display their server and easily indentify and chat with others who played in the same World. However, there was a lot of confusion and not a lot of time to fully put this plan into motion and unfortunately, both this and the player survey sort of fell by the wayside.

Hardware Corner

In the second floor lobby, Final Fantasy XI related material was displayed, such as numerous soundtracks and recommended hardware for game play.


The New Special Battle “Mercenary Camp,” Mihli’s Hexa Strikes Wipes the Competition

Along the lines of “Heroes Combat” and “Heroines Combat,” a third, new special battlefield was presented: “Mercenary Camp.” As players of Treasures of Aht Urghan may have already guessed, this time your opponents were the Five Serpent Generals, protectors of the Empire of Aht Urghan. Fans have been waiting with baited breath to take on these generals ever since they first fought alongside them in Besieged.

The rules included a 15-minute time limit, level 60 cap, and a ban on Raise or Reraise. The Serpent Generals were non-aggro, in that the players could decide upon a target to fight, but after a set amount of time, another randomly chosen general would move to engage the alliance. Their jobs were as follows: Skyserpent General Rughadjeen was a Paladin, Stoneserpent General Zazarg was a Monk, Galeserpent General Najelith was a Ranger, Flameserpent General Gadalar was a Black Mage, and Waterserpent General Mihli Aliapoh was a White Mage. As special characters, they each had their own unique Weapon Skills, and their battle AI was noticeably improved.

^Mercenary Camp: A battle against the Five Serpent Generals. The amount of participants and strategy involved is reminiscent of Divine Might.

On stage, 18 lucky contestants were allowed to participate in the fight against the Generals in three teams of six members. As noted in the title above, the result was utter defeat. Players were allowed the standard six jobs, Warrior, Monk, Thief, Red Mage, White Mage, and Black Mage.

The job choices were fixed, so everyone knew their place by upon the onset of the battle. The general consensus was to Sleep all the Generals and start with the relatively weak Black Mage, then take out the Attacker types, and finish with the Paladin and White Mage who would take longer to beat comparatively, due to their healing magic.

However, in this battlefield, the order of Generals after the first is random, so inevitably, the strategy fell apart. Instead they decided in the first battle to target Mihli (WHM), in the second battle, Gadalar (BLM), and the third, Zazarg (MNK).

^Mihli’s power certainly left its impression on the audience. She seemed all nice and cute when she appeared, but quickly struck down players with great ferocity.

In the first battle, Mihli proved quite tenacious with her array of healing magic. She made short work of Warrior with her mighty Hexa Strike, and let bruisers Zazarg and Rughadjeen come out to clean up the remaining players. Underestimating Mihli as a simple White Mage certainly cost the players their lives.

Round 2 saw the players looking to quickly crush Gadalar to start things off with an edge. Unfortunately, next up was Mihli, who plowed through Warrior, Monk, and White Mage alike to claim a decisive victory.

The intended plan of Round 3 was unclear, and due to mishap, the players incurred the wrath of Zazarg. His intense Asuran Fists made short work of players, and just for good measure, Mihli came out next for a little cleanup duty.

Upon witnessing this, it appears the battle is simply unbeatable. Still, my recommendation would be to have a tank kite one of the more ferocious Attacker types. By the way, with the special battle codes attendees received, they can take on the challenge themselves, and I’m sure many of them will be eager to claim victory.


Star Onions Mini-Concert, Plus New Songs for Wings of the Goddess

As a special treat, a small concert was held by the Star Onions, a band comprised of members of the Square Enix sound team. The five member band is comprised of Lead Composer Mizuta Naoshi on Bass, Sekito Tsuyoshi on Guitar, Tanioka Kumi on Piano, and Iwasaki Hidenori on Synthesizer, and Michael-Christopher Koji Fox on Drums. Their last full concert was in March of 2006 at the “Final Fantasy XI Fan Festival 2006” in Santa Monica two years prior.

The Mini Concert began with the Aht Urghan city theme, then went on to include the Chocobo Raising tune, the main theme of Chains of Promathia as a piano solo, Wings of the Goddess Field Area music (piano solo), the Shadow Lord theme (piano solo), the Ark Angel theme, and an encore of the theme music for Jeuno. All in all, the concert included seven different songs.

The highlight was no doubt the three consecutive solos by pianist Tanioka Kumi. The Chains of Promathia and Shadow Lord themes were especially beautiful as piano arrangements, and the Field Music for Wings of the Goddess did an exceptional job of conveying the sorrow of traversing those horrid battlefields. As a composer on Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates, among other Square Enix works, Tanioka Kumi awed all in attendance with her skill on the piano.

Lead member, Mizuta Naoshi, had this to say, “Wings of the Goddess has many songs used to paint a picture of the conflict waged 20 years ago. A soundtrack is planned, but we wish for players to experience its impact in the game before releasing it for sale.”

 

The concert lasted close to an hour, and was accompanied by the final Talk Section. The soundtrack for Wings of the Goddess should go on sale sometime early next year.


Finale

The finale re-introduced all participating staff and graciously thanked all attendees for their participation. Tanaka reassured everyone by promising to continue the journey with players through Vana’diel for many years to come.






======================
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
======================

More information from the Osaka Festival. Adding this to the OP

Miscellaneous Information

Macro Palette
The Macro Palette will be increased from 200 entries to 4000. The current set of 200 entires will be multiplied across "books," labeled Book 1 ~ Book 20. Book names can be changed by the player.

Gobbie Bag Expansion
The current inventory limit will be increased from 60 to 70.

Mog House
You will be able to bring friends into your Mog House. On the screen, a party of 6 members were shown in a Mog House. In the background a snowman could be seen.

Special Task Team Activity

Monopoly of Notorious Monsters
The usage of 3rd Party Tools to monopolize certain NMs has caused a lot of trouble. However, the number of players doing this has decreased dramatically over the past year.

Fish Bots
The focus here is on quantity over quality. We are employing methods that will eliminate large amounts of fish bots at a time, and their number has been steadily decreasing overall.

Crafters
People who monopolize NMs and fish for long periods of time are able to make further money through crafting. We began taking action against these players in August and have seen their numbers begin to decrease. As these merchants decrease, so does the supply of items, which brings an increase in prices. This attracts regular crafters, who then refill the supply. This is the game balance that we are aiming to achieve.

Illicit Use of Game Mechanics
There is a pattern of flagrant disregard for the proper use of game mechanics. For instance, the misuse of a certain Pankration NPC to gain money. We have been working hard since the summer to eradicate such players.

Plans for Aht Urghan

Pankration
In order to alleviate congestion, there are plans to install a "practice arena."

Einherjar
A certain enemy's Zantestuken is known to wipe out all players within range, but there is a way to avoid its damage. By paying your respects through prayer, you can avoid being defeated. (This is the the original line hinting at using /kneel to avoid Zantestuken).

Random Facts

For the ENM Quest "Pulling the Strings" ...
As a Thief, you can steal one of the dice! Success depends on luck

When World Designer Iwao needs relief from the stress of work...
He buys some armor. Iwao is a weaponry and armor collector.

On the Tonberry technique, "Words of Bane" ...
You can see 呪言 written on the effect. ("Jyu-gen" means cursed words)

Ibwam might look a little familiar...
there's a reason. He was designed because of the immense popularity over the "Dondake!?" incident. (OK, this is some homosexual phrase in Japan that's supposedly hilarious. Dondake!? is the equivalent of some flaming gay man saying 'What the!?' It started with some incident on a TV show, but I'm sorry to say I can't find the clip as YouTube removed it as per the request of Tokyo Broadcasting. Oh, and if you're wondering, Ibwam is a Lure of the Wildcat NPC in Windurst Waters by the fountain, I believe.)

Qiqirun have a strange manner of speaking, but...
There's a reason. It originated from Variety and Sports programs based on the way "The Strongest Amateur" would speak. (This is in reference to Bobby Ologun, who achieved infamy through his numerous linguistic gaffes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Ologun)

The familiar look of Mihli Aliapoh was an accident. We're not even fans of that show! They say she looks like a certain character from a popular robot anime, but it really, really is just a coincidence.

Judge series gear...
has hidden effects.
The soft burning effect is not the Judge's body, and will stop if the Judge Sword is removed.
With "Judge Minnow," they will always fish up a monster.
With "Judge Lure," they can fish up a stack of fish at once.

In Vana'diel's past...
There seems to be new species of Mandragora. The previously shown Lycopodium exchange Dream Flower for a move that clears TP.

In Salvage, there's a certain NM on Floor 1 of Zhayolm Remnants...
It will pop if make it to the sub-boss without using any Imbued Items.

Even a GM...
Must pay the costs to travel around Vana'diel. For instance, GMs can't ride an airship without a pass.


Questions From Adventurers

Q: Will we be able to actually dance now using the /dance emote?
A: The "Dance" command of a Dancer requires TP, so it cannot be used in towns. However, if the demand is there...

Q: What plans are there to counter the recent influx of spyware on the internet?
A: Final Fantasy XI has very strong defensive measures in place, but individual players should take the time to protect their own hardware as well.

Q: Do multiple instances of Treasure Hunter in a single party increase the chances of a drop? When exactly does the effect of Treasure Hunter take place?
A: When more than one member has Treasure Hunter, the player with the strongest version will have theirs take effect for the party. The effect comes into play as soon as the Thief generates enmity from the target enemy. Even if the Thief dies, the effect remains.

Q: Why are the drop rates in Dynamis Xarcabard and Dynamis Tavnasia so horrible?
A: The drop rates are not different than any other nation's Dynamis. Since there are less enemies to defeat, it makes it appear as if the drop rate is that much worse.

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